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Over a thousand Hondurans are headed for the U.S.-Mexico border. This is not new as “caravans of immigrants” have become an annual event meant to showcase the Central American refugee crisis. Some of these people say they want to seek asylum; others just want to sneak across the border. But unlike President Obama, Mr. Trump is having none of it. Thus, a showdown at the border is dead ahead, and the president is likely to take matters into his own hands with Congress on Easter recess.
The Monkey in the Middle
Mexico appears to be the monkey in the middle in this latest immigration fiasco. Various reports have surfaced about the Mexican reaction to the caravan given President Trump’s hard line on immigration. The AP reports that a couple hundred men hopped a train in an effort to reach the border first. Unconfirmed reports from Mexico say that about 400 caravan participants were sent back to their respective countries, but Reuters is reporting that “the welcome mat” has been rolled out in some Mexican towns for the travelers.
Still, the president’s stalwart tweets against this movement of immigrants toward the U.S. is putting Mexico in the hot seat to do something before they reach the border. About the only public word thus far has come from Mexico’s interior minister Alfonso Navarrete in a tweet. His Twitter account says that he and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson spoke yesterday about the situation and “agreed to analyze the best ways to attend to the flows of migrants in accordance with the laws of each country.” Whatever the hell that means.
The Mexican Fox
Meanwhile, Mexican politicians are publicly talking on all sides of the issue. As conservatives well know from the 2016 presidential campaign, there is no love lost between Mr. Trump and former Mexican President Vincente Fox. On Monday Mr. Fox called for Mexican politicians to stand up to President Trump because the U.S. President keeps “blackmailing, offending and denigrating Mexico and Mexicans.” It’s unclear just how the president is “denigrating” Mexicans in this situation, but the truth has never stopped Fox from flapping his gums.
In situations like this, it’s always a good idea to “follow the money.” Most of these caravan participants come from Honduras and according to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Honduras received a little over $127 million in aid in 2016. Being a smart businessman, President Trump has keyed in on the money trail in his latest tweet:
The big Caravan of People from Honduras, now coming across Mexico and heading to our “Weak Laws” Border, had better be stopped before it gets there. Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. Congress MUST ACT NOW!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2018
This is apparently a warning to both Honduras and Mexico from the president to get their act together, or he’ll start playing with the greenbacks – and that is where the rubber meets the road.
Build the Wall
This is yet another reason why the U.S. must physically fortify the U.S.-Mexican border with every known device from concrete to fences to electronic surveillance to keep our southern border secure. The American people have been chanting “Build the Wall” since the earliest days of the presidential campaign, and yet lawmakers have been dragging their heels on the issue. But the days of talking may soon be over because things are about to get ugly at our southern border unless Mexico takes the bull by the horns and stops the caravan before it reaches the border crossing.
If they don’t, it doesn’t seem likely President Trump will back down – nor should he – and this is certain to mean there is trouble dead ahead at the place where there should be a “big, beautiful wall.”